Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Donald Trump Thanks Russia’s President, Putin For Slashing US Diplomatic Staff

President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for slashing the number of U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia, “because now we have a smaller payroll.”

“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. “There’s no real reason for them to go back.”

Join The DENSDOME Community On WhatsApp

Putin, reacting to new sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress, on July 30 ordered Washington to cut 755 of its 1,200 embassy and consulate staff by September. Many of those affected are likely to be local Russian staffers.

It was unclear if Trump was joking in his comments, his first substantive reaction to Putin’s move.

Nicholas Burns, formerly the State Department’s third-ranking official, called Trump’s comments “grotesque.”

You Have One Invitation. CLICK HERE

“If he was joking, he should know better,” said Burns, now a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 
“If he wasn’t, it’s unprecedented. A president has never defended the expulsion of our diplomats.”

Trump’s remarks are at odds with the State Department’s reaction to Putin’s order. A State Department official on July 30 called the Russian move “a regrettable and uncalled-for act.”

Trump also said he has not given any thought to the possibility of firing special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia.

Go Off-Net. Get Instant Updates

He said he was surprised by the FBI raid last month on his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, adding that it sent a “strong signal.” 

Please Share 💗💓

Russian President, Vladimir Putin Goes Fishing

V​ladimir Putin went fishing at Russia’s Lake Baikal in Siberia and warned that the world’s deepest freshwater lake, has extremely high pollution levels.

Join DENSDOME WhatsApp Platform

Lake Baikal is a UNESCO World Heritage site, the world’s deepest lake at 1,700 metres (5,580 feet) and also the oldest at 25 million years. Tourists flock there to enjoy the unique wildlife and clear waters.

Mr Putin, while meeting officials in a room looking onto the shimmering waters of the lake, complained that “significant areas around Baikal have suffered extremely high pollution.”

Saying that Baikal “belongs to the entire planet,” Mr Putin insisted that preserving it for future generations is “undoubtedly a government priority.”

The Russian president has declared that environmental issues are a personal passion and has spent time tracking whales and tigers and even flown with migrating cranes. In 2009 he went down to the bottom of Lake Baikal in a mini-submarine.

But he was also instrumental in keeping a polluting factory open beside the lake and has presided over a crackdown on environmental activists and non-governmental organisations, including those specifically trying to protect Baikal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hunts fish underwater in the remote Tuva region in southern Siberia

Follow DENSDOME Up On Whatsapp

On Friday, Mr Putin called for officials to pay “special attention” to clean up the aftermath of “irrational and often irresponsible economic activity” around the lake, and to prevent such damage happening again.

A giant Soviet-built paper mill right beside the lake sullied its waters for decades but it was finally closed in 2013. Mr Putin had reopened the plant in 2010 after it initially shut in 2008, citing concerns over employment for local residents.

Mr Putin said the lake’s waters were now being polluted by household sewage and chemicals from farming, citing the need to “drastically cut down the volume of untreated water being discharged into the lake.”

He called for the Prosecutor-General’s Office to carry out a check into illegal and environmentally damaging activity around the lake and “take the necessary measures.”

In 2013, a group campaigning to protect the lake called Baikal Wave, was dubbed a “foreign agent” under tough new legislation targeting NGOs with foreign funding.

Get DENSDOME Updates First

The group, founded in 1990, closed down in 2016, saying it had become impossible for it to function.

Please Share 💓💗

Russians Bragged They Could Influence Trump Using Flynn Relationship

Russian officials bragged during the 2016 presidential campaign that they could use a cultivated relationship with Michael Flynn, then one of Donald Trump’s top advisers, to influence Trump, CNN reported on Saturday.

Russian officials claimed they had cultivated a strong relationship with Flynn and thought they could use it to influence the GOP candidate and his team, according to CNN’s report, which cited unnamed current and former government officials.One unnamed former official in President Barack Obama’s administration told CNN that “the way the Russians were talking about” Flynn was a “five-alarm fire from early on.”

Another former administration official told CNN that Flynn was regarded as a “potential national security problem,” though officials noted that Russian officials may have overstated their influence over Trump’s team.Flynn’s lawyer declined to comment to CNN.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Trumpaskedformer FBI Director James Comey to shut down his bureau’s investigation into Flynn, a request that Comey documented in a memo.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey, according to the report. 
“He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

On Thursday, tofurthercomplicate matters, Yahoo Newsreportedthat Flynn announced ata dinner in late April — months after he left the White House — that he “just got a message from the President to stay strong.”

Trump’s lawyershave repeatedly warned himnot to contact Flynn, and have reportedlyexpressed fearsthat any contact with the former national security adviser could look like witness tampering or coordination.Trump on Thursday categoricallydeniedpressuring former FBI director James Comey to end the FBI’s investigation into Flynn.“No. No. Next question,” he told a reporter.

The White House also issued a statement Thursday pushing back on the New York Times’ report,nearly a dayafter it was published.

Please Share 💓💗

BREAKING: Russian Ambassador to UN Dies in New York

​The Russian ambassador to the United Nations died after suffering cardiac arrest in Manhattan Monday morning, a day before his 65th birthday, sources told The Post.

Vitaly Churkin fell ill at his office at the Russian Mission to the U.N. on East 67th Street around 9:30 a.m. and was unconscious when emergency personnel arrived, sources said.

Churkin was given CPR and taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital in serious condition.

He was pronounced dead at 10:55 a.m., sources added.

Churkin had served as Russia’s permanent representative to the U.N. since 2006.

His death was announced Monday, followed by a moment of silence, at a routine meeting on General Assembly matters.

Many of Churkin’s colleagues took to social media to express their condolences.

“Shocked and saddened to learn that Ambassador Vitaly Churkin passed away. A top diplomat and a good friend,” Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko tweeted.

Netherlands’ UN Ambassador Karel van Oosterom wrote: “Emotional announcement at UN of passing away this morning of PermRep Russia Churkin and moment of commemoration and condolences.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed Churkin “unexpectedly died” but provided no details as to how he died.
It called him an “outstanding” envoy.
Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a Facebook post that Churkin was “an extraordinary person. A bright man. We have lost a dear one.”

President Vladimir Putin was notified of his death, state news agency TASS reported.

“The president was grieved to learn about the death of Vitaly Churkin. The head of state highly estimated Churkin’s professionalism and diplomatic talents,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the agency.

Churkin was currently the longest-serving member of the Security Council, the UN’s most powerful body.

“He has been such a regular presence here that I am actually quite stunned. Our thoughts go to his family, to his friends and to his government,” said Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the UN secretary-general’s office.

Churkin was a staunch supporter of Russian policy, including its bombing of Aleppo in Syria last year.

He slammed US Ambassador Samantha Power for acting like “Mother Teresa” – while noting America’s track record in the Middle East — after she lambasted Russia, Syria and Iran over the Aleppo crisis.

Power also reacted to Churkin’s sudden death.

“Devastated by passing of Russian UN Amb Vitaly Churkin.Diplomatic maestro &deeply caring man who did all he cld to bridge US-RUS differences,” she tweeted.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who earlier this month blamed Russia for the spike in violence in eastern Ukraine and said sanctions wouldn’t be lifted until Moscow returned Crimea to Kiev, issued a statement calling Churkin “a gracious colleague.”

“We did not always see things the same way, but he unquestionably advocated his country’s positions with great skill,” she said. “We send our prayers and heartfelt condolences to lift up his family and to the Russian people.”

Churkin previously worked in the foreign ministry in Moscow.

Please Share  💓💗

Putin suspends weapons-grade plutonium deal with US

​President Vladimir Putin on Monday suspended a deal with the United States on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium, once a symbol of U.S.-Russian rapprochement that has fallen apart amid tensions over Ukraine, Syria and other disputes.

A strain in ties between the former Cold War rivals has escalated in recent weeks followed the collapse of a truce in Syria and the Syrian army’s massive onslaught in Aleppo under the cover of Russian warplanes.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a reserve for wild horses near the Urals city of Orenburg, about 1300 kilometers (800 miles) southeast of Moscow, Russia, Monday, Oct. 3, 2016. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Separately, the State Department said it was suspending bilateral contacts with Russia over Syria, following Secretary of State John Kerry’s threat to suspend contacts amid new attacks on the city of Aleppo.

Putin’s decree cited as reasons for Moscow’s move the “emerging threat to strategic stability as a result of U.S. unfriendly actions,” as well as Washington’s failure to meet its end of the deal. It said, however, that Russia will keep the weapons-grade plutonium covered under the agreement away from weapons programs.

Under the agreement, which was signed in 2000 and expanded in 2006 and 2010, Russia and the U.S. each were to dispose of 34 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough material for about 17,000 nuclear warheads.
When it was signed, the deal was touted as an example of successful cooperation on nuclear nonproliferation between Washington and Moscow.

Russia said last year it had started up a plant that produces mixed-oxide commercial nuclear reactor fuel known as MOX from weapons-grade plutonium. Meanwhile, the construction of a similar U.S. plant in South Carolina has been years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.

Putin pointed to the stalled plant construction earlier this year when he accused the U.S. of failing to meet its end of the deal. He also argued that the policy change would give the U.S. “return potential,” or a chance to recycle the material back into the weapons-grade plutonium.

“Russia has been observing the agreement unilaterally for quite a long time, but now it no longer sees such a situation as possible amid the tensions,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the state-controlled Rosatom nuclear corporation, said Monday that while MOX makes sure that weapons-grade plutonium can’t be used for any military purposes, the U.S. intention to dilute and stockpile the material means “it could be dug up again.”

Commenting on Putin’s move, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the U.S. has “done all it could to destroy the atmosphere encouraging cooperation,” citing U.S. sanctions on Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis and deploying NATO forces near Russian borders.
“We would like to bring Washington back to understanding that it can’t introduce sanctions against us in areas where it’s quite painless for the Americans, and at the same time continue selective cooperation in areas it sees as advantageous,” the Foreign Ministry said.

It emphasized that Moscow was suspending the deal and not annulling it altogether, adding it would be ready to restore the plutonium agreement if the U.S. takes Russian concerns into account.

The U.S. administration wants to cancel the Savannah River Site’s MOX project and use an alternative method for disposing of excess plutonium.

PLEASE FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM